School Cancellations, Delays, iPhones, BlackBerrries and…

The good old days?

Ha! I never had snow days. Ever.

I grew up in the City of Pittsburgh, went to Catholic schools (run by tough, no nonsense Nuns who apparently mastered the hills and valleys of the Burgh like it was the Iditarod). We never had school closed due to snow or cold (but I do remember the ‘Energy Crisis’ closing things down for a couple of weeks…maybe that is what got my interests in all things political going). So spartan was my childhood that I infact WALKED TO SCHOOL (and yes, it was uphill both ways…see above mentioning of Pittsburgh ‘hills and valleys). Everyday. For twelve years (we didn’t NEED no steeenking kindergarten…we hit the ground running in First Grade n’at.)

But my kids? Well, we live in a sorta suburban, quasi exurban hinterland type place. Think Civil War era farmhouses and barns, post WWII ‘they don’t build ’em like that any more’ ranch style ‘hawses’ AND McMansions!!! Sometimes ALL on the same street!!! So…we have school buses, with bus numbers in the window to identify the route, bus stop itineraries (published in the local fish wrapper WELL in advance of the first day of school), stop signs that pop out from the sides and a big old swooopy arm thingy brushing the kiddies to safety in the front, and our District (being extra super dedooper awesome) has these annoying little blinky strobe lights on top. The buses also have the name of the District (I have to capitilize it) emblazoned on the side (so at sporting events OTHER school districts know which buses to pelt with snow balls, tomotatoes, etc.)…and ALL of this all of this grandeur, matriculating transit aplomb and thoughtful safety features…THEY CAN’T DRIVE THEM IN ANYTHING CLOSE TO THREE INCHES OF SNOW or GUARANTEE THEY WILL ALL START if the wind chills get below a certain point (which is due to FEDERAL regs on fuel types/additives/greenhouse gases and AlGore having to pay a huge divorce settlement from Tipper).

So….when the buses have been ‘idled’ by GloBull Warming…the neighborhood roads that aren’t being graced by all things Big and Yellow, remain unplowed (because well…even plowing is now FOR THE CHILDREN!).

Okay. I can live with that. And I can live with the knowledge that Western PA weather can change quickly (its the mountains, valleys, and rivers, and lake effects, oh my!) so decisions to cancel or delay must take alot of thought, consideration, and karma (like how many teens, allll at once channeling, ‘cancel, cancel…’). Its a daunting task. Or should I say was…

Because now, after having at least ONE child in attendance in our School District SINCE 1993 (I do deserve a medal) I have seen cancellations and delays going from a spontaneous YET RARE ‘listen to the radio in the morning’ (and some poor DJ/Newsreader has to schlep thru 26,000 DIFFERENT Districts and Catholic schools (there is a special place in heaven for John Cigna…that man KNEW his Saints names and proper pronunciation!); to having the schools listed in alphabetical order (hey, that’s even educational!) on a ‘crawl’ on the bottom of the local TV early a.m. news at a slightly more amped up rate per school year (this being reflective of the ‘additives’ to the bus diesel)…to know having ‘an App for that…’ except I don’t have a SmartPhone…I have a BlackBerry. No biggie…So I have to load the local TV sites and scroll. Yep. That’s it…literally AT MY FINGER TIPS and people are complaining about ‘that’ being ‘too involved’ to do in the morning…(but the information is STILL on radio and TV as well!)

Now, let’s review. Kids can’t get to school because there is more than three inches of snow (roads not safe, someone might sue); or its too cold (buses may not all start…and then the schedules won’t be kept, and someone might sue) AND now…the 2010 Parental Version 1.0 may NOT all have the ‘same’ technology and might….have…to…scroll…for multiple seconds…and I am waiting for ‘someone to sue’ on that.

Pass the rock salt, and the a.m. radio. Its winter in Pennsylvania…

And I wanna know, if my WordPress snow has been falling FOR WEEKS NOW…where is the accumulation at the bottom of the page???


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